Tuesday, September 11, 2012
It's always nice to get compliments. With 44 pounds gone, I am hearing it often, "Have you lost weight?" or "You look fabulous." or "You look so much younger." I enjoy the compliments, but I have to remind myself---that's not why I'm doing this program.
I am on program because I am prediabetic and no matter what my blood sugar reading is, I will always be prediabetic. I've succeeded in bringing my A1C to a relatively normal 5.7--down from 6.2. However, I now know that I will always have to be vigilant.
My choices are 1) stay on program, maintain a healthy diet and exercise and avoid diabetes; OR 2) go back to my sedentary ways, eat fattening food, regain the weight, become diabetic and then get back on program, maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
Believe me, I'm enjoying the weight loss from a vanity point. For the first time in years, I've tucked in my shirt and am wearing a belt around my waist. A belt because I need to keep my pants from gapping. It's fun to hear the compliments from family, colleagues, co-workers and friends. But, I have to remember how alarmed I was to learn I was prediabetic and how another part of my lab results revealed I had a "fatty liver." Huh? What's that?!? Yikes!
I want to live long enough to see my grandson grow up, finish school and get married. I'm a relatively young grandmother, so if he starts a family, I might even be around to become an active great-grandmother. When my grandson is 30, I will be 77. That's doable. I don't want him visiting me in a nursing home. I want to be driving, traveling and living life. That's what I want for myself and it will be challenging to do that if I become diabetic and at higher risk for all kinds of health complications.
Yes, it's nice to be in a smaller size, but I haven't erased my risk factors for diabetes. I still have a tire around my waist that needs to go. My journey is not done. Somehow, I need to keep chipping away at the last 22 pounds. My goal is to lose 12 more by the end of the year. Even if I only lose 5-10 more by December, I'm that much closer to goal. Anything I can do is better than standing still or moving backward.
Onward and downward.
Sunday, September 09, 2012
What is motivation, anyway? I am still learning the answer, but I know what it looks like:
Yesterday, I attended a Weight Watchers meeting. I sat there slack-jawed as this slender woman swimming in oversized clothes stood up and announced that she was wearing the same outfit she wore when she walked into her first WW meeting 120 pounds ago. She passed around a photo album of "before pix" that revealed she must've weighed nearly 300 pounds.
In the September 17, 2012 edition of TIME magazine, Dr. Mehmet Oz has a wonderful article on motivation. In the article, "Goal Power" he offers readers a guide to getting unstuck. I recommend you find a copy of this week's TIME to read the full article, but I'll offer a few of its talking points:
Dr. Oz argues that there is a huge gulf between deciding to do something and making it happen. Millions of people are trapped in that gulf because our reasoning abilities and our emotions don't always match. He says he sees the conflict every day when a patient starts a sentence with "I know I should ....." He said he knows those words are a sad predictor that he will probably one day crack open their sternums in the operating room trying to undo the damage that poor choices and unhealthy lifestyles have done to their hearts.
If people simply needed education, then we'd all be thin, but we know that's not the case. You show me an obese person and I'll show you someone who's an expert on what it takes to live a healthier lifestyle. They KNOW what they need to do, but haven't made it happen. Why?
Scientists are scurrying to find the answer to this question. Here's what they've figured out so far:
1) Personal transformation is a psychological and spiritual process.
2) Self-improvement combines this spiritual and psychological process with external accountability.
3) Success is contagious. If one person in a group loses weight, it influences their social circle. An example of this is one person quits smoking because their co-worker did. Then, their spouse quits because they no longer have someone sharing their habit.
4) The road to better health starts with baby steps. Why? Because they are doable and the change is sustainable. The lesson is, when you start an exercise program, don't promise yourself you will run three miles five days a week. Start with 10 minutes three days a week and go from there.
Our joining SP means we've recognized the need to change. That's an important step, but a small one. By combining that recognition with the principles above, we can build and sustain healthier habits for the long haul.
So when I saw that inspiring woman in WW yesterday, she became a part of my circle of influence. Plus, weighing in at the meeting, blogging and journaling keeps me accountable.
Whether we engage in these activities face-to-face or online, (I happen to need BOTH forms of accountability) we are putting into practice what researchers have identified as contributors to our success. And THAT, my SP friends is what I've learned so far about motivation.
Onward and downward.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
This is what I tell myself "Just Do It". I have to because my motivation to keep on keepin' on is low. It's not that I want to abandon all of my healthy habits because, in the long run, I know where I'll end up; obese, sick and diabetic. I don't want that for myself. Yet recently, I've felt bored with my program and I'm not sure what else to do to shake it up. I'm trying new recipes and switching up the exercise routine. Sometimes I'm working out with a trainer.
Recently, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now, I'm wondering if my recent sluggishness and somewhat depressed mood is related to my thyroid. Recognizing this possibility, I have been gently telling myself "Just do what you can, today." I feel like I should be trying to improve my time on my 5K, but today, I only have energy for walking the dog and walking around a shopping mall. I still enjoy strength training, but I am tired of the dang cardio machines.
Foodwise, I struggle when I step outside of my controlled environment. Yesterday's afternoon party at work followed by happy hour caused me to exceed my calorie budget. I have been eating at the higher end of my range because I've been hungrier.
The scale is starting to bounce between the same two pounds again. I had told myself that I should try to lose 12 more pounds then go into maintenance mode for awhile. Maybe I should go into maintenance mode now? I don't know.
In the meantime, I'm going to do two things. I'm going to Weight Watchers to get face-to-face group support and I am signing up to run/walk a 5K with a co-worker in late October. Hopefully, these two things will kick me in the pants and jump start my motivation.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Since I'm having so much trouble visualizing my 40 pound weight loss, I spent some time taking pictures of myself. I have some "before" shots of me near my all-time high weight. I still have the swimsuit I took that picture in so I put it on for my "during" shot. Yes, in the picture I can see the difference.
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